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Javi the Frog's Travel Blog

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Welcome to my travel blog, my name is Javi the Frog and I might be famous for my bright hues, but my experiences traveling around Costa Rica have been even more colorful. While I was growing up, my parents told me lots of stories about all the great things people see when they visit Costa Rica. I knew I had to see it for myself, so I jumped out of my favorite tree and hopped off to see the country. I've crawled up Arenal Volcano to see its fiery eruptions, and I've trekked to Salsa Brava to tackle the country's toughest waves. Thanks to my many experiences, I have become an expert on travel in Costa Rica, find out the inside scoop on the best that my country has to offer in my Javi the Frog's Costa Rica Blog.

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Crazy tree formation on hiking trail at Poas Volcano National Park
I understand that itch to explore, that pull to hop over to new places and the excitement of seeing some of nature's most amazing landscapes. I've heard whispers among my animal friends that Central America backpackers always say Costa Rica as one of their favorite places. There are endless activities, beaches like paradise and lots of interesting wildlife. It's a place that many travelers happily revisit over and over.... [More]
 
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Waterfalls are a good source of water
Imagine your river exploration trip suddenly went awry when an unexpected current sent you into some rapids. You go under and get separated from the group. They try to get to you but rapids send them sailing farther down the river. You struggle a bit, but find the strength swim to the shore. Suddenly, you're in the rainforest, alone, with only your wiles and the precious items in your backpack to get you through the night. Would you have the knowledge to get by?... [More]
 
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Sipping cocktails in a pool in Tamarindo
I can enjoy a good party when I see one, and one of the liveliest times to visit the beaches of Costa Rica is always mid-spring! The sands of my homeland are perfect for getting some much-needed sun and enjoying a few days of relaxation and fun. Many groups come with friends or family, because this is the type of adventure people want to share. I've met people coming here to explore more than the beach as well - there are so many options! Surfing in the Pacific Ocean? Check. Four-wheeling to pristine waterfalls? Check. Locals like me describe good times with the expression "Pura Vida!" - which is exactly how you will describe your sunny days in Costa Rica... [More]
 
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Actors in procession in Holy Week, San Jose
Topping the list of my favorite holidays, Semana Santa is a celebration during the last week of Lent leading up to Easter. Parades, processions, the best food and mini-festivals fill the streets, and for Costa Ricans, Catholic traditions run deep. Without a doubt, Semana Santa, literally meaning "Holy Week," is one of the most important holidays of the year. Ticos embrace a week off of work, spending downtime with family and friends... [More]
 
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Exterior view at Holiday Inn Express
It's always vacation at the Holiday Inn! Located right next to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, the Holiday Inn Express San Jose Costa Rica Airport is flying with good deals, affordable rooms and excellent treatment - and as one of the country's leading froggie travel experts, I have seen my fair share of deals! When I'm in busy mode and have to migrate back to the trees during mating season, I'm sure to stay at this hotel. Within one mile from the air travel, it doesn't get more convenient than this!... [More]
 
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Costa Rica's national bird, Clay-colored Thrush
With its unmistakable tune and people-friendly character, the clay-colored thrush is the national bird of Costa Rica. If only we had national amphibian! The melodious thrush, known locally as the Yigüirro, is one of the country's most common birds. While the species ranges from South Texas to northern Colombia, it holds a special place in the heart of Ticos... [More]
 
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Swimming pool at Garden Court Express, San Jose
Once I get tired of sleeping in the tree branches around the nation's capital of San Jose, I hop my way toward the comforts of Garden Court Express Hotel. Convenience is this modern hotel's forte! Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Garden Court Express lies within walking distance to several hot spots including theaters, local museums, restaurants and National Parks. To sweeten the deal, San Jose Tobias Bolaños International Airport in Pavas sits 6.5 kilometers away.

At check in, you'll be greeted with a complimentary cocktail to start off your stay in style. I'm not much of a drinker, so I gave mine to friend named Paco who opened the door for me when I leapt in the hotel... [More]

 
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Male Quetzal spotted in Los Quetzales National Park
If I had to pick my favorite two-winged wonder in Costa Rica, it would have to be the resplendent quetzal bird. Famous for its majestic coloring and long feathered tails, quetzals are considered the most beautiful bird in the world. They can be found in the mountain forests of this Costa Rica, where they call home. They are currently a "near threatened" species, making them fairly challenging to spot. But rest assured, with my frog instincts, we'll be sure to cast our eyes on this resplendent sky-bound creature... [More]
 
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Exterior of Best Western Irazu Hotel & Casino
Situated less than 5 kilometers from the heart of San Jose, Best Western Irazu Hotel & Casino merges the bustle of the city life with the laid-back feel of the countryside. What I love about it is that it's just far enough from the noise where it doesn't keep you up at night, yet still close to all of the action. Last time I stayed at the Best Western Irazu Hotel, I soaked in the local attractions such as Braulio Carrillo National Park and Costa Rican Art Museum.

It may not tout the exotic appeal of jungle hotels, but the Best Western Irazu offers convenience, comfort and great customer service! Over the last several months, I've noticed that the hotel has been undergoing renovations, which are expected to be finished by around January 2014. I can't wait to see the new improvements for the new year... [More]

 
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Jumping bull in Guanacaste
In a splendid tradition, Costa Rica celebrates bull fighting as "Toros a la Tica". To be honest, I'm scared of bulls. I can match up against bull frogs, but the giant beasts with horns could crush me like a bug - or an amphibian! However, humans find great fascination in everything in and around the arena. Lucky for them, Costa Rica packs a awe-inspiring bullfighting - a tradition that few visitors realize this country has... [More]
 
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Stunning Sunset on Chirripo National Park
I can get pretty high simply by hopping from branch to leaf to branch in the rainforest, but I know it isn't as easy to get great views for many humans! Luckily, Costa Rica is filled with great places to hike, many of which pay off with beautiful vistas. Although there are countless seascapes, lush green valleys and volcanic craters to choose from, here are my top three:... [More]
 
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Life of Marine Turtles
There are seven species of marine, or sea, turtles, and almost all of them are endangered. These ancient sea creatures voyage between land and sea and swim thousands of miles throughout their lives, leaving them vulnerable to a number of threats. In fact, the leatherback sea turtle population in the Pacific has dropped by more than 90 percent since 1980, while the hawksbill global population, with little more than 8,000 nesting females remaining, has fallen 80 percent in 100 years. The bottom-line? Each turtle matters!

From commercial fishing - in which hundreds of thousands of sea turtles are accidently caught in shrimp nets and on long line hooks each year - to habitat loss to illegal trade, marine turtles could use our help. Costa Rica's beaches are home to the nesting sites of four turtle species.... [More]
 
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Exterior view of Hampton Inn & Suites
As a frog with connections across my great motherland, I've had quite a few options to explore the many luxurious corners of Costa Rica. Although there are plenty of down pillows to rest my head on, one of my all-time favorite spots is the Hampton Inn Suites. Located in the Central Valley region in Alajuela just beyond the San Jose International Airport, this is one of the best places to meet incoming travelers and share some expert tips with them! If you're looking for a great place to settle into Costa Rica after a long flight into the country, the Hampton Inn Suites may be your perfect launching spot... [More]
 
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Playa Manzanillo
In my lovely home town of Manzanillo, many humans and frogs flock to experience a unique facet of Tico culture. Here, medicinal plant tours unveil age-old secrets of herbal medicine. After fleeing from predators or if I'm in need of a stress-reliever, I come to soak in the natural beauty of Manzanillo beaches, catch up with old friends and explore the grassroots approach of plant healing. Local herbalists share ancient wisdom that will teach you how they've treated Ticos for centuries. There are several different programs and classes offered through Centro Ashe Costa Rica Grassroots Plant Healers Tour... [More]
 
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Tres Leches
Not everyone can bring spinach dip. Somebody has to be the impressive one at the party, and this year, that person is going to be you. Try something new by trying your hand at these classic recipes from a variety of Latin American countries.... [More]
 
Javi's the Frog's Blog

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